Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Think critically about this stuff

In a previous post, I described the negative impulse to stay silent about fitness while my own journey was not complete.  I described a fairly harsh internal criticism on the subject.

Approaching that from another angle: I don't have a degree in dietetics or exercise physiology either -- does that mean that I'm not really qualified to make the observations that I make on this blog?  This is a fairly, overly self conscious line of questioning.

What I'd say is that someone with a masters in a STEM subject is probably well enough equipped to read the relevant research, and to think critically about claims being made by the community. (I'm only saying "with an MS in STEM" because that is what I have -- you might make the same claim about yourself, wherever you are.). If you are curious enough, and disciplined enough to pursue real sources (Google Scholar, not YouTube!), you can make good inroads into having a solid understanding.  It doesn't get you all the way to an MD, but you can understand a lot.

Also, incidentally -  Everyone in this community is running around saying "this is not medical advice, but...".    What you have to understand though, is that a layperson can (check this with a legal expert) give any kind of advice that they want, because there is no claim that their advice is medical advice.  If you have an MD and are governed by standards of care, this changes. I have at times entertained a fantasy of becoming a registered dietician, but I recognize that I would then be bound by standards of care, and the office that that degree awards.

I've said this before, but think critically about what I'm saying as well as everyone else you read, listen to, or watch on the internet, or at the library. (I also have an entire category on this blog marked "bullshit".) Checking citations is a good place to start, although most people don't write blog articles as if writing an academic research paper, and I am probably as guilty as anyone for citing YouTube.